Master of Horror meets Master of Ceremony.

R.A. : What did you think of the wave of the ’80s slasher films that came after the success of Halloween?
John Carpenter: A lot of them just picked a date like, Friday the 13th, Valentine’s Day, to keep with the spirit of Halloween. It was a way to make money. That’s what it’s all about here in beautiful Hollywood. 

Is Michael Myers a virgin?
Is he a virgin?

I mean, all he does is kill. Did he ever get laid?
I don’t think he was able to. He was fucked up, I think he got confused between fuckin and killing.

What if he’s really just a repressed homosexual on a rampage?
I never thought about that.
I just think he’s crazy.
But what do i know, maybe he is.

Your illest scene is in ‘Assault on Precinct 13′
when they shoot the 8 year old girl.

That was pretty tough. You know, you can’t kill kids.
I don’t know what I was thinking.
It’s great. She tells the ice cream man she wants Vanilla Swirl and she gets blasted.
That’s right. She goes back and gets nailed. We rigged her ice cream cone to blow out blood on her. She was scared at first, but everybody loves getting killed in movies. She had fun.

The movie ‘Christine’ has the best dialogue, like the fat guy saying “Shut your piehole.” And the old man calling everyone, “Shitter.”
That was Stephen King for you- that really strange kind’a ’50s bee-bop dialogue. I’m not a big fan of the novel, but we did okay.

Why did you make it?
I needed a job. (Laughs). After ‘The Thing’ i was on the street for a while looking for a gig. I had to keep myself going.

I heard they fired you from directing ‘Firestarter’ after ‘The Thing’ failed at the box office.
You got it. Back then ‘The Thing’ was hated, especially by the science fiction and horror fans. They thought I pissed on a classic. So they built me up- you know they build everyone up and they tear them down. Thats the American way.

Now that ‘The Thing’ is considered a classic, what do you have to say to assholes who hated on it?
Well, I love that people like it now. I had fun making it. I think ‘The Thing’ delivers and I’m proud of it.

Rowdy Roddy Piper is the man. What was it like making ‘They Live’?
Roddy’s a close friend. I didnt want a Hollywood hero with ’80s hair like, Rambo or Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. ‘They Live’ was my fuck you to Ronald Reagan and everybody in the ’80s loving that old wrinkled piece of shit.
He fucked up everything.

My boy Ayatollah made a beat outta your ‘Precinct 13′ score and he wants me to spit over it, do you clear samples?
Be my guest. I don’t know anything about rap. As far as I could tell, the beats are sorta blues with electronic drums but i’m just an old white man, what the fuck do you want from me?

What are some of your favorite horror movies that really scared you?
In the ’50s, The Fly, when the wife pulls the hood off her husband and he has the head of a fly. I was 10 and that scared the shit out of me. ‘House of Dracula’, ‘The Exorcist’, Polanski’s Repulsion all have good scares. Documentaries really scare me. Real life is awful compared to horror movies.


  1. mousegionianisia

    August 5, 2011 (13:14) Reply

    nice! i like john carpenter’s definition of rap beats. he’s a cool guy

  2. Jennie

    August 5, 2011 (13:33) Reply

    Carpenter is a man after my own heart! I’d love to kick it with him and watch horror and documentaries all damn day! Great interview R.A.

  3. jay

    August 6, 2011 (04:14) Reply

    Christine is classic. Arnold Cunningham’s mannerisms and obsessive nature we see progress throughout – starts off as a nerd – awkward cool guy – ends up a killer… is fuckin cool. I mean, strictly speaking of the movie, sometimes its not even about the (very cool) dialogue. See when Arnie stroked and felt his car’s pain after they smashed Christine and shat on the dashboard? That non-dialogue sequence nails what i’m trying to say. How can Carpenter not like it more than just okay? The characters, including the car, are all things people can relate to. Obsessiveness, possessiveness, love, desire, loyalty, death…. I thought it was great.

  4. Hugues

    August 10, 2011 (22:11) Reply

    This interview is bad ass, I saw “Fog” recently, it’s just b-movie caviar.
    Fuck special effects Michael Bay type of shit, John C. make you shit in your pants with a dog in a dark hallway and good soundtrack.

    Can’t wait to see his last movie.

  5. TYBO2020

    August 12, 2011 (23:48) Reply


    HALLOWEEN 1 & 2

  6. marry

    September 15, 2011 (03:57) Reply

    Best post. I appear forward to reading a great deal more. Cheers

  7. Roland Klostermann

    September 16, 2011 (06:26) Reply

    I also think quality is vitally important! But saying that, your articles are always a fab read, so I take your comments on board

  8. Jiro

    September 19, 2011 (22:48) Reply

    Always wish the man made a cowboy movie. Truly underrated.

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